I'm on the lookout for the best chocolate chip cookie in the tri-state area. Once I've located that I will expand my search nationwide.
What do I want my chocolate chip cookies to be? Moist and light, crisp and yet slightly chewy, even pliant. There should be enough high quality chocolate in the cookie so that you get some chocolate in every bite. I don't want any chocolateless bites when I eat a chocolate chip cookie. They should be buttery without being greasy.
All right, those are my criteria. Here are the contenders I have come across to date:
Bouchon Bakery: I know ELE readers are sick of hearing me extoll the virtues of the baked goods at Bouchon Bakery. And I will in a future post explain my disappointment when I actually had a sit-down meal there. But now we are talking about chocolate chip cookies, and BB makes a phenomenal one, with Valhrona chocolate, plenty of French butter, and just enough brown sugar. The chocolate chip cookie here is the ideal combination of crispy, chewy, and pliant. 10 Columbus Circle, 212-823-9366
Levain: The Levain chocolate chip cookie, beloved by many, weighs as much as a hockey puck. It is moist and dense. It has no crisp veneer whatsoever. When you finish a Levain chocolate chip cookie, you feel bloated and satisfied. You have indeed swallowed a mouthful. 167 W. 74th St. 212-874-6080, 354 Montauk Highway,Wainscott, LI, 631-537-8570
Balthazar: Balthzar Bakery founder Paula Oleand is the best bread baker and pastry chef you've never heard of. Her chocolate chip cookie are small, light, intensely chocolatey, and are just crisp enough. 80 Spring St. 212-965-1780
Tate's Bakery: These cookies, made by Kathleen Tate (formerly of Kathleen's Cookies, which are now horrendous by the way), have achieved cult status on the Upper East and West Sides of Manhattan. They are extremely crispy (in fact they often come broken in the bag) and have the proper ratio of brown sugar to butter to chocolate. They come plain or with walnuts. They are available at Citarella's and a lot of Korean produce markets. Available at Citarella, Balducci's, Barney Greengrass, Garden of Eden, and a ton of other places.
I have had good chocolate chip cookies from Ruby et Violette, but the one I had last week was a little greasy and not up to their usual standards. crispy. I'll try to get back there this week and report. 457 W. 50th St., 877-353-9099.
Again, this is not my list of the best. It's just the ones I have tried and liked. What have I missed?